Don't Let the Stones Cry Out: Following God's Prompting
The other day, while filling up my Honda at a gas station, I noticed a large, burly man in a beat-up pick-up truck a few fueling stations away. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched him grab a paper towel and the window squeegee and start walking over to my car. I was the only other car at the station, and I was a little nervous as he drew nearer, intimidated by his size.
I was opening my car door to get in and lock-up, when I heard his gruff voice say, "Excuse me." Halfway into my car, I turned my head to look at him as he began to speak.
"Hello, my name is Mike, and I don't have enough money for gas in my truck, but I just got out of prison and was wondering if I could wash your windows for some spare change." Because of his scruffy appearance, large stature, and the word "prison," I quietly replied, "No, thank you, I'm sorry," and got into my car and shut the door.
All I could think about were the many times my parents reminded me to be careful at gas stations — quite a few in our city have been subjected to vandalism, even in broad daylight, if the car is left open.
The Spirit started tugging at my heart the minute I shut the door, but after a few moments of debating, I started to drive away.
"You don't turn me away when I'm hungry, Lord. How is this different?" I thought, feeling prompted (thinking of Matthew 25:40).
Ever since I was little, my parents taught me that when someone on the street asks for money, we don't give money but we can ask if they are hungry and buy them a meal instead. My first instinct, as a girl in her 20s, was to be intimidated by this large, rough-looking man.
I'd almost reached the freeway on-ramp when I made the decision to follow the Spirit, so I pulled over to see if I had a $10 bill in my purse I could give him. As I searched for a spot to make a U-turn, I started to pray that Mike would still be there so that I could help him, or that God would send someone else to help him. I knew that if God could make the stones cry out (Luke 19:40), then He could make a way for His Will to be done — with or without me.
As I drove back toward the gas station and waited in the turning lane to pull into the rest stop, I saw the man and his truck, but now he was not alone. A younger man stood beside him, pulled a card out of his wallet, put it into the machine by Mike's truck, shook Mike's hand and walked away. My prayers had been answered. God had prompted someone else to show charity to Mike and pay for the gas in his truck.
This was a beautiful lesson for me. Yes, I listened to the Spirit and finally turned around to go help someone in need, but what if I had followed the prompting at the gas station and gotten out of my car with a change of heart sooner? Perhaps I could have told him that I would be praying for him and shared my testimony with him. But despite me, God provided someone else to offer help when I missed the chance to show charity.
It's important that I don't miss the promptings of the Lord, no matter how uncertain the task may seem or how out-of-the-box the request appears. I certainly don't want the stones to cry out instead of me.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.